Sunday, January 22, 2012

Save It for Later Saturday: the Election, Conflict Resolution, and Reassurance

In Save It for Later Saturday you’re getting a brief run-down of the stand-outs from my week's "Read Later" list. 

This week during one of our dinner conversations, my daughters fired off questions about the presidential election.  The questions were not difficult to answer.  I understand the electoral process.  But the questions were difficult for me to clearly answer in a way that was meaningful to them.  There’s a lot to the electoral process and they were not aware of much beyond voting, counting, and winning.  How much do your kids really know about the electoral process and how much of the electoral process can you accurately explain? 

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Scholastic News recently launched Election 2012 which provides answers to all election related questions.  The content is accurate, easy to read, and will capture the interest of school aged kids and adolescents.  The site combines information from Scholastic News with reporting by the Scholastic News Kid Reporters.  You’ll also find election-related games, polls, videos, and an interactive map that tracks the primary voting across the country.  Next time your kids are online, tell them you’d like to explore Scholastic News Election 2012 with them.  Get them involved and excited about this important time for our country.

If you have more than one child, it is certain there will be conflicts between them.  Siblings argue.  It’s normal.  It is wise to let kids figure out how to solve conflicts on their own.  But if they do not have tools in conflict resolution, you can't expect them to effectively settle disputes. 

In the current issue of the NAEYC's Teaching Young Children, Sharma Whitchurch and Jackie Sprague provide a great strategy for conflict resolution within the early learning environment.  The strategy, the daily designation of a student "Problem Solver", can be easily implemented into the home.  And the plan doesn’t need to be reserved for young children.  Older children, adolescents, and even adult members of the family will benefit from it.  I encourage you to look over The Problem Solver Job: Peer-Mediated Conflict Resolution and give it a try at home.

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Once you have your kids up to date on the electoral process and well-trained at conflict resolution, you will feel reassured that you are one great parent, right?  But then one of your kids asks, “Is Barack Obama running for president?” and the other kid smacks him on the head and calls him “stupid.”  You may feel as if all the time you spent was pointless.  So you turn to your blog to vent, check the stats and see your views are down for the day by 50%.  You think, “Oh well, at least I’ve been sticking to my resolution to run every day.”  You go to your scale, jump on and find you’ve gained one pound.  Where is the proof that you are doing something right?

My advice?  Read Seth Godin's post, The problem with reassurance.  After, give your kids a hug, write your next blog post, and go for a run.

See you next Saturday.


  1. I love this, Kimberly! Thanks for sharing. Actually, the links will be helpful, I think. Have to check them out, of course!


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